Kuumba Academy Charter School’s Board of Directors has accumulated nearly 15 years of experience in school governance and oversight. Our governing body provides critical leadership in urban education, early learning, business, finance, human resources, law, nonprofit management, facilities management, operations, healthcare, and parent/community engagement.
Members of the Board
Sally Maldonado, Head of School – Mrs. Maldonado is an experienced school leader and former Delaware-certified teacher who has provided academic leadership to KACS for more than ten years. She has dedicated her career to at-risk students—serving as a classroom teacher, instructional leader, and Head of School for KACS—and has a proven track record in improving their academic outcomes. Mrs. Maldonado has expertise in data-driven instruction and decision making and participated in extensive training in these areas as an original member of the first cohort of the Vision Network schools. Mrs. Maldonado has a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Delaware and an M.Ed. in School Leadership from Wilmington University.
Kenneth Brown – Mr. Brown is KACS’ Interventionist and Assistant to the Dean. He is a seasoned professional with experience in teacher training, behavioral classroom management, arts integration, and curriculum development, and his diversity in the arts, behavior management, and leadership in many areas of educational programming has earned him respect among the educational and cultural community. Mr. Brown earned a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and an M.Ed. from Cabrini College in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Joan Coker – Through her private practice, Dr. Coker provides medical services to a diverse patient population, including children, adolescents, and adults. Her work serves children, youth, and their families in ways that address a broad range of medical issues and require the leveraging of multiple resources and services.
Samantha Connell – Ms. Connell is a Teach For America (TFA) alumna with a track record of demonstrated success in the classroom. As a Delaware-certified teacher and KACS teacher since 2009, Ms. Connell has made significant progress in closing the achievement gap for our students. She serves as the ELA coach and is a member of the KACS Instructional Leadership Team. She also provides professional development and curriculum support for teachers in grades 3–5. Ms. Connell has a B.S. in History from the University of Pittsburgh, and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Wilmington University.
Douglas Cuffy – Mr. Cuffy is a Delaware-certified teacher and has served as the fifth-grade math and science teacher at KACS for the past three years. Throughout this time, he has played a significant role in narrowing the achievement gap for our fifth-grade students. Mr. Cuffy is a member of the KACS Instructional Leadership Team and has provided professional development for staff in areas like technology integration and the Common Core State Standards. Mr. Cuffy is a graduate of Delaware State University where he earned a B.A. in English.
Bernard Fisher – Mr. Fisher is a certified public accountant with extensive experience in private industry, public accounting, municipal government, and not-for-profit organizations. He is an active member of KACS’ Citizen Budget Oversight Committee and provides KACS with hands-on financial oversight. As former Board President of the Christina Cultural Arts Center, Mr. Fisher is experienced in nonprofit oversight and has completed the State of Delaware Board Finance training.
H. Raye Jones-Avery – Ms. Jones-Avery has 25 years of experience with all operational aspects of not-for-profit business organizations. She has demonstrated her leadership skills by using cutting-edge development strategies in turn-around initiatives for under-performing operations. In her current role as Executive Director of the Christina Cultural Arts Center (CCAC), she has earned a reputation as a visionary leader in the Delaware arts, human services, and community development sectors. She successfully executed two capital campaigns that allowed vacant historic properties to become the sites of KACS and the CCAC. Ms. Jones-Avery has 30 Doctoral Credit Hours in Urban Affairs & Public Policy from the University of Delaware, and an M.A. in Health Services from West Chester University.
Darren Moore – Mr. Moore is a private business owner and former KACS Treasurer. He has participated in board finance training with the state and provided fiscal oversight to KACS since 2008. As a private business owner and operator, Mr. Moore has more than 15 years of experience managing all aspects of his business, including his staff of fully licensed employees. He received a B.S. in Business and Accounting from Delaware State University and a Chartered Financial Consultant Designation from American College in 2010.
Sheri Marina Robinson – Ms. Marina Robinson is the 2016–2017 KACS Parent Teacher Association President. She began volunteering in the classroom when her daughter started at KACS and is still an active school volunteer in many areas. Ms. Marina Robinson has worked, trained, and studied as a Litigation Paralegal in the tri-state area for over 20 years, and now works as a Claims Coordinator at Nuclear Electric Insurance Company. She has an Associate's and Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Widener University.
Dr. Susan Thomas-Holder – Dr. Thomas-Holder is a retired Delaware-certified high school teacher with more than 30 years of experience teaching chemistry and physics, developing curriculum, and providing professional development. She is also a founding board member who holds a Doctorate in Psychology, and has worked with students in the arts as a former drama club director and served as a Cathedral Choir School Board Member.